All right, I am thoroughly ashamed of myself. What the hell did I say yesterday? That one has a choice between mild depression and being happy?
Not so fucking fast, Krissie. What an arrogant thing to say. Sure, why don’t I tell Kieran that while she’s struggling to finish a book and then gets blindsided by a young, tragic death?
Why don’t I say that to someone who’s trapped in a lousy marriage and doesn’t know how to get out, caught in a dead end job with no sign of hope? Why don’t I say that to someone so anxious about money and a job that they’re paralyzed?
Yes, you have a choice. Sometimes. Sometimes you can fight off the blues, do what you can to break yourself out of it. Go out in the sunshine, do little rituals to release grief or sorrow or anxiety (the physical balloon thing, or you can do it mentally, putting whatever is making you feel awful in a little imagined box and sending it skyward to whatever higher power you believe in, you can take a trank to help with the anxiety (as long as you don’t do that too often) or you can go for a walk).
But the danger is in thinking that if you still feel bad, you’ve somehow failed.
My HP (that’s Higher Power, not Harry Potter, though you know, Harry Potter makes a fairly decent higher power) decided to slap me upside the head with the Salmon of Correction.
First, I tried to attack the overwhelming mess of the living room. Just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s what it looks like:
So I started trying to go through stuff, empty stuff, then went in and did the dishes (Richie’s done them all for the last month or so), then Richie came in with the bills and the confusion with Chase over college loans still hasn’t been cleared up, and Richie said that was why our credit limits on our Chase cards had been dropped (which makes sense). And I immediately felt anxious and hopeless (there’s no place to put all this stuff, there’s no way to fix the money situation) and I snapped at Richie.
Then, feeling remorseful, I went out to apologize and talk to him about how bad I felt. (He’s always in the garage trying to organize for the yard sale). so we talked and I cried and then I started looking in some of the tubs I needed to go through and found a picture of my mother and a shawl she loved and I just fell apart. And the day didn’t improve.
I decided to go over to the lake and curl up on the porch and read the new Loretta Chase, and I think I’ll do that again today. I’m so weary of going through boxes and reading letters that hurt and not having places for things to go. And I don’t understand why I miss my mother when she was such a pain and why I get such weepy days.
But you know, for all this seize the day and be glad in it, sometimes it’s a waste of time to fight it. Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to feel weepy, be gentle with yourself, curl up with Loretta Chase or Sherry Thomas (we’ll assume we’ve read all Crusie and Rich/March and Stuart isn’t usually cheering).
So, anyway, my apologies to anyone who felt guilty that they couldn’t seize the day. We can always try, but sometimes the universe has other ideas, and it decided to teach me a lesson yesterday.
I have a number of dear friends who insist, absolutely, that in order to have good things happen you simply need to think them into being. To manifest the good stuff, and it will come to pass. And they have all sorts of proof, from their careers to their finances to healing cancer to pregnancy when you’re infertile. All you have to do is let go of your internal resistance or picture it happening or relax or pray or whatever, and everything you want will be yours. And God knows I would love to believe it. Believe that if I listen to various meditation tapes I will become rich, thin, and famous. Not to mention pregnant. (Did I ever mention I occasionally still have issues about not being able to get pregnant?)
The corollary being, of course, that if you aren’t getting thin, rich, famous and pregnant then you a)don’t really want it or b)aren’t doing it right. In other words, you have only yourself to blame.
I’m conflicted about it all. On the one hand I believe that how you look at things can make all the difference in what kind of life you have, a happy one or one filled with resentment and anger and self-pity. I believe visualization can be an amazing tool when it comes to dealing with illness, with life trauma, with weight issues and things that attitude can help. And I sure as hell believe in turning things over to my higher power (aka God) because I can’t do anything about them any more. That one has saved my life.
In fact, I think our prayers are always answered. It’s just not always the answer we want. Continue reading